Liberia: Legislature Urged to Increase Health Budget to 15 Percent

13 November 2019

A civil society group under the banner Partnership for Sustainable Development PASD) is urging the government through the Finance Ministry and the Legislature to increase the budget of the Ministry of Health to at least 15% or above.

"We call on the MFDP [Ministry of Finance and Development Planning], and the Legislature to ensure that the health allocation in the national budget 2019-2020 and onward is increased to at least 15% in adherence to the Abuja declaration," the group said recently in Sinkor.

Addressing a news conference, PASD program officer Thomas N. Teah says his organization has been implementing a 12 - month Action for Accelerating Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Policy Implementation in three of the 15 counties of Liberia.

According to him, the objective of that engagement was to improve public financing, intervention programs, behaviors and policy on reproductive, sexual, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and to end every form of violence against women, girls and children.

Teah narrates that PASD in collaboration with other local partners have implemented five petition actions in three project counties which include Montserrado, Lofa, and Gbarpolu.

He notes that several petition statements were developed and presented to relevant government offices in the three counties.

In these petition statements, PASD made few recommendations, including a call for the Ministry of Health to develop a new roadmap for the reduction of maternal and new-born mortality and morbidity to replace the expired roadmap of 2007-2015.

Further, PASD calls on the MFDP and the Legislature to create clear and disaggregated budget lines for maternal and new-born child health of 10% of the health budget in adherence to "Every Woman Child Initiative" which Liberia has acceded to.At the same time, Mr. Teah says PASD and other organizations applaud the government for passing into law the Domestic Violence Bill and allocating mini funding in the current 2019-2020 National Budget.

He also commends the National Traditional Council of Liberia for announcing ban on Female Genital Mutilation activities across the country for the period of one year.

But Mr. Teah condemns in the strongest term, the Ministry of Health's alleged failure to develop and put into action a new roadmap for the reduction of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality in Liberia to replace the expired 2007-2015.

Mr. Teah says PASD started working in Liberia since 2003, and obtained its legal permit on November 9, 2005, with a vision to see Liberia where every person's basic social, economic, political and cultural rights are progressively realized.

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